When his pride is bruised and his ego sore,
When he howls his angst and would be free of voyeurs;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core,
But a plea, that upward to his parents he flings –
I know why the house cat sings."
So it WAS another cat that was causing Pie's distress. We have a window well in our laundry room, which is the room Pie has to go through to get to the catbox room. And we do not have a curtain over that window because there is a plastic cover over that window well that pretty well obscures what's going on in the laundry room. Meanwhile I get natural light on my craft counter. I felt pretty confident that no one was looking in.
However, I had only planned for human voyeurs. An outside cat has discovered a way under the plastic cover, into his own little warm window well. Nestled in leaves, protected from wind, maybe even catching some heat from an ancient leaky window, it's a good spot for an alley cat.
Unfortunately, it's a really bad spot for Pie's comfort. Not only does he have to walk right by this window, he is also completely visible from said window while he's visiting the catbox. Pres Man made some remark about "One Cat, One Box" and I could not stop laughing. Pie didn't think it was funny. No wonder he was howling. If I had discovered some stranger staring at me while I was similarly exposed, I think I would have been howling too.
I cannot be sure that this cat is really an alley cat; with college students in the neighborhood it's hard to tell sometimes. He could be shut out of his place when his student is at school/work, especially if it's someone who is not supposed to have a cat in their apartment. If I was positive, I'd call the animal shelter about him. They have a newly expanded cattery and a cat on his own would definitely be better off there than living in my window well.
We have scared the huge (huge) gray and white tom out of the window well a couple of times, but that's not going to stick; a cat's gonna do what a cat's gotta do to survive. So we hung up a shade over that window. Now Pie can visit his bathroom without being watched and we can enjoy an evening free of "O Solo MEEEOOOOOWWWW!"